How much noise can three tables make? Well, we just had to outdo those old crusties from the Aussie Masters Swimming Club didn’t we.
This was a fantastic evening for South Canberra Tuggeranong Athletic Club with great success not only in the trophy department, but also on the dance floor. The food wasn’t bad either. It must be said that the work by Peter Haren in writing the nominations played a great part in our dominance of the evening. Did you know that there are 51 different sports affiliated with the TVRUASC and we had four successful nominations out of five categories.
The second presentation of the night was the Chisholm Sports Club Shield for outstanding coaching achievement. The nomination was read by ABC presenter Tim Gavel: "Mike has coached Track & Field and cross country for many years and is currently coaching the Under-18 age-group for the South Canberra Tuggeranong Athletic Club, while also coaching at the Little Athletics Clubs in the Valley. Mike is a motivated, involved and successful coach who places great emphasis on personal commitments as a basis for success. His coaching highlights through 1997 include Kelly Roberts who won four gold cross country medals and two gold track & field medals at Open School National level - Erin Sutcliffe, two silver medals at All-Schools Championships - Craig Core, winner of the Goulburn Fun Run - Darryl Hill, Lauren Carroll, Jade Sutcliffe who all represented the ACT at the Primary School’s Nationals. In summary, Mike coached seven athletes to National Schools and Open Championships in 1997". After the other nominees were announced, a deathly silence with fingers crossed... "And the winner is... Mike Sainsbury!" came the announcement. Well, you should have heard the cheering - which was thoroughly deserved if a little embarrassing.
The Scholarship Presentation for tertiary students was next on the agenda. Scott Thomson was successful in gaining a scholarship which was presented by Terry Crane, the President of the TVRUASC.
The third presentation was the Tuggeranong Hyperdome Shield for best team performance. Although we didn’t have a successful nomination this year, the Calwell Little Athletics Centre nominated their Under 15 girls track relay team. All of the relay runners are also members of South Canberra Tuggeranong. Members were Corine and Shonel Kuypers, Leah Wheelhouse, Shenevelle Dickson and Erin Sutcliffe. Unfortunately they just missed out in a photo finish.
The Brian Pollock Motors Shield for outstanding individual achievement in Junior Sport was the next presentation of the night. We all had high hopes for our nominee Kelly Roberts. Kelly won multiple medals at the Australian and All-Schools National Cross Country Championships in Adelaide as well as winning the 800m/1500m double at the All-Schools T&F Championships in Hobart. The finish was as close as Kelly’s 800m victory in Hobart but unfortunately this time a lawn bowler John Bezear rolled in closest to the jack.
After a great speech by Ex-Wallaby and Sports Journalist Peter Fitzsimons it was time for the presentation of the prestigious H.R. Heher Shield. This is awarded in recognition of the most outstanding achievement in senior individual sport. SCT has had great success with this award claiming Gerard Barrett, Maryann Busteed, Colin Neave and Stuart Mee as former winners. This time it was a somewhat surprised Gerard Duffy who won the gold by at least 10 metres. Officials, coaches, parents and middle distance running teammates gave a loud cheer when Gerard’s name was announced. It was a deserving victory as Gerard dominated the discus last season being the National Champion and GP event winner. He has continued this season winning the ACT, NSW and National titles and hoping to qualify for Australia’s Commonwealth Games Team. Well done Gerard.
That was just about it for the evening’s proceedings. Everyone had a great time - winners are grinners. It was now time to hit the dance floor - trying to look a little more graceful than when doing "Amanda’s drills" down at Calwell Oval.